So, it’s been ages since my last blog – it was in 2013 in fact. It seems such a long time ago now. The wind and the rain have been battering us for quite a while. Let’s hope we’re getting it all out the way for a nice Spring. Even Rocky our very own mascot cockerel has suffered from the elements – unless someone knows something we don’t? We will be re-attaching Rocky’s head as soon as the weather lets us.

As a privately owned independent family business we are really looking forward to a great Gardening year in 2014. You may or may not be interested to know that Sheena and I have developed the Garden Centre business here since buying the house by the roundabout in 1987. Since then we have had 4 children and now have 36 acres here at the Garden Centre. Sophie our eldest now does our accounts, Freddie has just joined the business having previously worked at John Lewis head office, Luke last year started his own landscape maintenance business, The Groundcare Company and Jethro is in his last year at Uni studying to be a Property Surveyor.

As a family we have had many really happy holidays in Italy, we all admire their earthy, local, family food culture and it is this culture we are going to try and start to emanate here at Bell Plantation. We want to help everybody to grow some food and enjoy their Garden, ’For the love of the great outdoors’. It’s a little easier for the Italians to have an outdoor culture with a more stable weather pattern!

After the strong winds we have had it would be good to check newly planted trees. Make sure the tree stake is firm in the ground and the tree is not moving around in the ground ‘socketing’. Firm the soil around the roots and make sure the tree is well strapped to the stake or cross bar with and expandable tree tie.

Our seed potatoes came in today get ready for spring.

Have a great weekend

P.s. Don’t forget to feed the birds.

Ashley Warren

Ashley Warren has lived and loved horticulture and agriculture all his life; he had his first greenhouse at the age of 10 and his first cow when he was 16. He started landscaping in 1984 mainly in Milton Keynes and then all over the country. He moved to Daventry Road Farmhouse in 1987 and has developed Bell Plantation Garden Centre in Towcester, Northants over the last 30 years.

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